Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 14 - Children's Day

A Deccan Chronicle Photo

A child ragpicker lifting a huge sack. November 14, the birdthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is celebrated as Children's Day in India. UNESCO's Universal Children's Day is on November 20. This day is filled with fun and frolic for most children, but some kids like the one above have to work every day for a living! Although the government has policies and laws against child labor, it is quite common to see kids employed in small shops. At traffic signals kids are seen begging or selling confectionery or nicknacks. Some time ago a racket came to light in which some elements of the society in collusion with unscrupulous doctors amputated kids and made them beg on streets!!

I usually see ragpickers a bit older than the above boy, but I felt very awkward taking a photo. There are some NGOs helping organize and settle the ragpickers, a majority of whom are women. Although they seem like a nuisance (they empty the dumpsters and sort through the contents and leave the garbage outside the dumpsters), according to an article I read they are actually providing a service to the city in that they help recycle things (by salvaging plastic, metal, etc and selling it), and also they are useful in some big cities where the services provided by the City are inadequate for garbage removal.

"Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives." -Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." -Angela Schwindt

"Sex education may be a good idea in schools, but I don't believe the kids should be given homework." -
Bill Cosby

"Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth - two removes from the sin of manhod and three from the remorse of age." -Ambrose Bierce


zakscloset said...

poor kid! the bag is even bigger than him...

Wendy said...

Tragic story about the amputeed children having to beg for money, and other children, such as the one in the photo, having to work for a living.

You've posted some nice quotes about children.

WebOJ said...

Poor little fellow. When I see pics like this I hate those &@#$(&$ politicians.

Nihal said...

Did you know children's Day is celebrated in 37 world countries including Turkey as well?
National Sovereignty and Children's Day in Turkey is every April 23rd. Also this date marks the opening of Turkish National Assembly in 1920 during the Turkish Independence War. Turkish government organizes an international children's festival on April 23 since the year 1986. Turkey's aim to emphasize this: ''Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people''.
Jump in here for more:

In your Day, do the world children come to India for parades and/or colorful shows etc like happened in Turkey, I am curious?
Hope the children had a great day! Such a golden opportunity for them:)

Hyderabad Daily Photo said...

@nihal: Thanks for your comments. I don't think (at least I don't know) that any foreign kids come to India for Children's Day. Perhaps in future this may happen as India becomes a more desirable destination (as it has become for businesses now).

Neva said...

It must be my day to read/see depressin gthings about your fault of yours! Have you heard on seen the HBO documentary on "Born in a Brothel"? It is about children of prostitutes and how to keep them "off the line". filmed in is a sad docoumenmtary of a handful of children that no school will take due to their mothers being in the "sex industry". The documnetary focuses on the handful of children that are given a camera to "documnet" their lives. It is very intriguing. Perhpas things will change as more people would like to visit.

Ann (MobayDP) said...

Oh this is heartbreaking. But I suspect it's necessary for the family to have every member doing some kind of work to bring in money. Every single penny counts. We also have some child labour here in Jamaica as well unfortunately. Some kids must stand at the stoplights selling bottled water or sweets or wiping car glasses to earn little money.

It is very heartbreaking that these kids will never really know what it is like to just be a child and play instead of having to work for their food!